There is a lot being said lately about the supposed lack of strong female characters in comic books today. Apparently, these people haven’t seen the books put out by Zenescope, like Robyn Hood. To be honest, I’ve only just recently read some of what they put out under their Grimm Fairy Tales banner, and I wish I had paid attention to them sooner!
Today I’m going to talk about one of their more recent offerings – Robyn Hood. This five-issue miniseries chronicles Robyn as she’s taken from Earth and arrives in the realm called Myst, one of four realms that exist in the Grimm Fairy Tales universe. In Myst, King John rules with an iron fist. He’s forced the people to work themselves to death, and cares nothing for the fact that they are mostly sick and dying. When Robyn arrives she first has to deal with some of the King’s men and then quickly realizes that the only way she can find her way back home is to help these poor people.
Like all the other Zenescope books in this line, Robyn Hood features something recognizable and puts a highly entertaining twist on it. I mean, when you look at them you probably think “oh, joy…another Jungle Book or Robin Hood. Same story, different artists.” If that’s what you’re thinking about this then you must, simply must, check out what Zenescope has to offer! I know a lot of other people dismiss these books because of their looks. Be honest, if you’re one of the people who looked at their covers and then just put it back, wasn’t it because of the scantily clad women on the cover? The problem with books like Robyn Hood is people tend to look at them with narrow minds. It happened with Chaos! Comics a lot back in the day as well. Again, not checking these out is a crime.
In this issue, we know Robyn is from our world and had had a very rough life. Because of her situation growing up, she has become something of a master thief . Her story is told through a lot of narration and a healthy amount of flashbacks. It’s easy to tell that the writer, Pat Shand, is someone who actually cares about this book and its characters. His writing, based on the story ideas of Joe Brusha, Raven Gregory, Ralph Tedesco, and himself, shows a great ability to tell the story on two fronts at the same time. He does this while pushing the narrative forward at a nice enough pace that the back story doesn’t become cumbersome or make the story boring. I was curious about this series when I saw the cover of the first issue at my LCS and after reading the issue for this review I have to admit, I do want to read the whole thing.
As for the art, there are spots where it seems less than developed. One or two panels are iffy at best, but overall Larry Watts does a great job of telling the story with his art and fun use of panels. Again, with the exception of a few spots, it’s a very nice looking book and well worth checking out.
So, in closing, if you’re already familiar with Zenescope and the books they produce then I need tell you nothing more, you already know. If you don’t read Zenescope books and you have an interest in shows like Once Upon A Time and Grimm, or perhaps you read Vertigo’s Fables and Fairest, then this is for you. If you’re looking for another take on these classic stories then do yourself a favor, check out Robyn Hood or any other Zenescope book. Robyn Hood is currently available at finer comic shops everywhere.